Fitness professionals often integrate core strengthening exercises into client programs for enhanced performance and injury prevention. However, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2011; 25 [1], 252–61) found no significant correlations between core conditioning, functional movement and performance.

The study included 28 “healthy individuals” who performed several tests. These tests focused on three categories: core stability (flexion, extension and right and left lateral); functional movement screening (deep squat, trunk-stability push-up, right and left hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, straight leg raise and rotary stability); and performance (backward medicine ball throw, T-run and single leg squat).

At study completion, the authors found no significant link between core stability and functional movement. They also determined that neither core stability nor functional movement was a strong predictor of performance, adding that “despite the emphasis fitness professionals have placed on functional movement and core training for increased performance, our results suggest otherwise. Although training for core and functional movement are important to include in a fitness program, especially for injury prevention, they should not be the primary emphasis of any training program.”

What do you think about these data and this conclusion? E-mail your thoughts to associate editor Ryan Halvorson at [email protected]